User Experience/Tools

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This page describes tools, e.g. application software, that are useful for User Experience related work. It complements the already existing page Resources. Please note that software tools are not meant to replace either in-depth analysis or intensive thinking ;-)

For each entry there will be information on recommended use, advantages, disadvantages or further readings. In general, it isn't possible to say that a certain tool is far superior than another one - sometimes it is just a matter of personal preference. However, if you use any kind of software, please make sure that created documents can be shared among the community. That is the only way to let others benefit from your work.

Feel free to add entries or own experiences and please don't forget to explain them so that the information helps others estimate the tools' usefulness. Thanks!


UX Research Simple.pngKnow and understand users to better meet their needs.

Name Description  Used Examples User Feedback Program

The User Feedback Program is a collection of tools to gather, transfer and analyse usage statistics by real users of The use of dialogs, menus, toolbars and shortcut keys is counted and transferred to a central server if the user accepts an agreement. The collected data exported to simple spreadsheets or analysed in various ways. The User Feedback Program provides insight into the real use of functionality available in the office suite. It is shipped with since version 3.1. Please note that only usage data is collected; nor document content nor personal information are part of the gathered data.

According to the intended audience - and sometimes due to inconsistent naming - the User Feedback Program is also called "Usage Tracking" or " Improvement Program".

References: contact person: Frank Loehmann (FL)

Impress Click Map

LimeSurvey is an open-source survey application to provide online surveys which are hosted on an usual webserver. The surveys can be provided in different languages and with a customized design, e.g. for The survey design and some analysis is available within the administration pages of the software.

Website: contact person: Frank Loehmann (FL)

yes User Survey


UX Design Simple.pngGenerate and accumulate ideas to create innovative design proposals.

Name Description Used Examples

Inkscape is a very powerful open-source vector graphics editor which uses the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. The created graphics can be exported to the PNG format so that they can be used in both the Wiki or

Recommended use: diagrams, GUI mockups, icons


  • Versatile use (sketches and detailed designs are possible)
  • Bitmap graphics can be easily imported
  • Pixel perfect design (it's possible to adjust the vector graphics to the screen pixels, e.g. to design the real final dialog size)
  • Available for various platforms
  • Extensive documentation and tutorials available

Disadvantage: is not able to handle SVG files


Useful stuff:

  • Galaxy Color Palette (Galaxy Icon Style)
  • Change Tracking and Notes Color Palette ( 3.x) (on request, the file type is currently unsupported by the Wiki)
  • Change Tracking Color Palette ( 1.x ... 2.x) (on request, the file type is currently unsupported by the Wiki)
Mockups for the print dialog
The Gimp

The Gimp is a very powerful open-source bitmap graphics editor. The created graphics can be exported in various formats so that they can be used in both the Wiki or

Recommended use: GUI mockups (especially modifying existing screenshots), simulation of color vision deficiency, image composition, very simple animations


  • Pixel perfect design (it's possible to adjust the paint operations to the screen pixels, e.g. to design the real final dialog size)
  • Advanced drawing capabilities
  • View filter for simulating color vision deficiency
  • Available on various platforms
  • Extensive documentation


  • Resizing / alignment of elements is sometimes time-consuming

Useful stuff:

  • Galaxy Color Palette (Galaxy Icon Style)
  • Change Tracking and Notes Color Palette ( 3.x) (on request, the file type is currently unsupported by the Wiki)
  • Change Tracking Color Palette ( 1.x ... 2.x) (on request, the file type is currently unsupported by the Wiki)


yes Draw / Impress

Draw is the drawing application and Impress is the presentation application of the office suite. So why not use to design

Recommended use: GUI mockups, diagrams, clickable prototypes and animations (Impress)


  • Flexible formatting styles concept
  • Simple file exchange


  • Working with graphics elements is sometimes perceived to be cumbersome
  • Low quality of bitmap file export (e.g. size, spell checker markup)


Useful stuff: Galaxy Color Palette (Galaxy Icon Style, Colors in Draw Document)

Paper and Pencil

The "Paper and Pencil" approach is simply the use of a sheet of paper and a pencil to draw early sketches. It is named here, since its usefulness is often underestimated. Drawing is the most natural approach, since you don't need to consider the requirements of a certain software tool. Simply start drawing and don't think about about artistic skills - you only need boxes and some text. The "Paper and Pencil" approach is directly related to the well known method "Paper Prototyping".

Recommended use: very early GUI mockups, diagrams

Advantage: Fast and flexible design


  • Changes are sometimes impossible (besides the eraser)
  • Post-processing is time-consuming (e.g. drawings need to be scanned)
Pencil Project

The Pencil Project is an open-source add-on for the Mozilla Firefox which uses the drawing engine of the browser.

Recommended use: GUI mockups, diagrams


  • Fast, flexible, clean results
  • Ui widgets direcly available
  • SVG output can be further amended in other apps


short test only


UX Evaluate Simple.pngEvaluate promising solutions and analyze the current design.

Name Description Used Examples
Colorblind Web Page Filter

The Colorblind Web Page Filter simulates color vision deficiency on already existing websites. There are several sets of color blindness filters which can be applied to a user-defined URL. That makes it possible to simulate vision deficiencies with nearly any website. But, please keep in mind that there are some elements on the websites which cannot be re-calculated. You will find further information on the website.

Recommended use: simulation of color vision deficiency

Advantages: Fast and easy simulation


  • Can only be applied on static content
  • Simulated website can not be exported to an image


yes Website and "red/green blindness" (Protan)
Portable Usability Lab

 A usability lab is used to check products with real end-customers. The Fedora Project currently develops a Portable Usability Lab which is rather cheap - compared to commercial solutions.

Advantages: tbd

Disadvantages: tbd


no none

Support and Documentation

Name Description Link Examples Specification Project Software specifications are an essential part of the development process. Changes to be it adding new feature or enhancing existing ones will be done based on written software specifications. This is absolutely necessary as there are always multiple persons or groups involved in a change to Specification Project Specifications which affect all modules
Fidelity Matrix
OOoUserExperience Tools FidelityMatrix TemplateExample.png
Usually, it is really easy for viewers to mix up things like "visual design" and the "interaction design". In the literature, there has been a proposal to address such problems with an fidelity matrix which is supplied to each design artifact.

Detailed information can be found in the blog entry "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!" by the UX Team.

Fidelity Matrix Template (SVG)

Personal Idea of a Welcome Center

Further Topic Ideas

  • Wiki
  • Writer / Calc
  • Issue Tracker
    • Keyword: usability (Issues referring to usability and ease of learning should have this keyword.)
    • Keyword: usagetracking (Usagetracking issues for Renaissance Project)
    • Assigned to: ???
  • Icon Test
  • ASCII Art
  • Enthnographic studies
  • Focus groups
  • Contextual inquiries (User interviews, User observations)
  • Site visits
  • Uninstallation Survey (will start with OOo 3.2)
  • Text analysis:
    • GATE General Architecture for Text Engineering [1]
    • RapidMiner [2]
Personal tools